Ex-Coors brewer starts own company

A former brewer for Coors has started his own brewing company, Naked Lion Brewing, in Memphis, with his beer brewed at City Brewing in Wisconsin.

The first beer, Copper Flask, is described as “a full-bodied lager that uses a sour mashing process similar to the one used to make some whiskeys.”

Tony Vieira, who has an MBA from Vanderbilt University, financed the $500,000 start-up himself to maintain equity in the company.


Zymurgy readers vote for Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA

Readers of Zymurgy, the journal of the American Homebrewers Association, have chosen Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA as the “Best Commercial Beer in America.”

90 Minute was a three-time champion of Real Beer’s Battle of the Beers.

Zymurgy has been conducting the annual survey for five years, inviting readers to send in a list of their twenty favorite commercially available beers in the U.S. More than 1,100 votes for 618 beers from 293 brewers around the world were received.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Stone Arrogant Bastard both tied for second.

All the results.

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Australian wineries woo ‘beer snobs’

New South Wales’s De Bortoli Wines, Victoria’s Otway Estate and Western Australia’s Woodsmoke Estate/Jarrah Jack’s partnership are all set to enter the beer brewing business.

University of Southern Queensland’s wine industry liaison Rob Learmonth said there is talk among the state’s wine tourism association about the growing market for boutique beers.

“At the cellar door, some people would prefer to have a beer than a wine,” Learmonth said.

Not everybody agrees the trend has legs, but meanwhile some interesting drinks might emerge.

Brewing expert at the University of Ballarat Peter Aldred said having brewers working alongside wine-makers would create some interesting flavors in their products.

“When you get brewers and wine-makers together there are definitely some interesting conversations,” Dr Aldred said.

Anyway, here’s how starts the story:

“A new breed of snooty beer drinkers is replacing chardonnay sippers in vineyards across the nation as wineries jump on the booming boutique beer bandwagon.”


Why those beer kegs keep disappearing

The Associated Press revisits the ongoing story about how, with metal prices rising brewing companies expect to lose hundreds of thousands of kegs and millions of dollars this year as kegs are stolen and sold for scrap.

Here’s why it makes a difference to you:

Craft brewers are anxious to solve the theft problem because as much as 40 percent of their business is tied up in keg sales, triple the industry average, said Ken Grossman, founder and owner of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

His company, based in Chico, Calif., expects to lose at least 3 percent of its kegs each year and often must wait months for replacements because it orders in smaller batches.

The thefts couldn’t come at a worse time because the craft beer segment has outpaced growth in the domestic market, he said.

“If you can’t meet the need, you’re not going to grow much anymore,” Grossman said.

The price scrap yards pay for stainless steel has steadily grown for a year, peaking at about $1.50 to $1.70 a pound last month, said Marty Forman, president of Forman Metal Co. in Milwaukee. But that has dropped to about 50 to 70 cents a pound recently, which could provide some relief to frustrated brewers, he said.


Larry the Cable Guy’s beer

A Nebraska winery/brewery has struck a deal with a hometown comedian to market Git-R-Done beer.

Dan Whitney, the guy who has made Larry the Cable Guy famous, grew up in Pawnee City, where Mike and Sharon Schilling operate SchillingBridge Winery & MicroBrewery.

Upstream Brewing in Omaha will brew the beer while SchillingBridge completes its brewery. When SchillingBridge opened in November 2005, it became the first business in Nebraska to combine a winery with a microbrewery. Its first five beer styles have been contract brewed at Upstream.

Mike Schilling and Upstream brewer Zac Triemert developed the beer as an American light lager, a style similar to the most mass-market beers in the United States. But Triemert said the beer has a “little more flavor and body” than beers produced by corporate breweries.”

Pawnee City is located about 75 miles southeast of Lincoln.